1996 was another busy year for the Michel clan.

The Kairos Quartet went on a tour of the East Coast, joining pianist and old friend Eduard Zilberkant in performances at Eastern Mennonite University , St. Johnís College, Temple University and on WFLN in Philadelphia. We recorded Maria Newmanís string quartet The Birthday of the Infanta for CD. After a grueling week of recording, we took Alec to Disneyland, which he loved.

Johnís sister Lucy was married in June. Alec was the ringbearer, and after screaming bloody murder at having to wear a tux, walked picture perfect down the aisle. High school friend Moon Hi Hanson finished up her Miss Saigon run in Vancouver, and came to stay for a week.

The second season of Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival went off wonderfully. David Perry, Peter Longworth and Jeff Zook were old Interlochen friends that came. The two week student institute was even better, with some students saying they liked it better that Aspen or Meadowmount.

(Must have been the food!)

Carrie was matron of honor in best friend Kathryn Votapekís wedding to Aaron Berofsky (another interquartet marriage). She then wore her bridesmaid dress at her six solo recitals in November and December. That might be a record for bridesmaid dress usefulness.

John finally found a cello (Thomas Kennedy) and the best news is that WE BOTH GOT TENURE!!! Whew. Time to take up golf, ha ha.

Alec is now two and a half, loves singing songs from the Sound of Music, especially in the hardware store. He stays with our friend Cathy Idler and her kids when we are at work, goes to gymnastics (very cute) and occasionally smothers Rikka with hugs and kisses. He gets more fun all the time.

We will try to keep a Michel scrapbook at Keep in touch by sending email to Carrie at and John at

We keep trying to center our lives around the One whom we celebrate this season. Hope you are all well and planning to visit the Northwest this year!